Archon: The Books of Raziel
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To me, it takes no talent to dump a ton of info at the beginning. This author sucks the reader in with curiosity and then keeps your interest with action, a tad of romance, twists, and the ability keep you wondering what will happen next. I will say though that this book may not be for everyone. There really isn't much romance in it so if you're looking for that, I'd recommend you look elsewhere.
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Archon is an epic fantasy novel that has its own plot but still alludes to a much larger story that is yet to come in the next 2 books. The plot is complicated and there are several characters so while some young adults can handle the book, there is action-type violence so it seems to be written more for older young adults and up. This author does not throw information in your face and I like that!
She reveals it slowly in a deliberately planned manner.
Careful readers will have no problem knowing what goes on in this book. However, if you skim as it seems some readers on here do , you will be confused because you will miss things.
Blood head — The author alludes to a blood head being someone who is shunned and described as a freak with red hair but does not say it specifically in the ARC version of the book. Setting — There are quite a few references to Luz being on Earth. Characters — While this has been a complaint for a lot of people, I had no real problem with any of the characters and actually thought the idea of them being ambiguous in their alliances and motivations was daring and unique.
Angela especially is very unique for a heroine, and whatever flaws she has are realistically presented. A Mary-sue she most certainly is not, and she has an impressive sense of integrity and determination, especially at the end. This book does read like the set-up to something more epic and sprawling, though, and I think most people are confusing what is the need to introduce many important characters with a lack of development.
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Anyway, for me, this book hit the nail right on the head! Who I would recommend this book for: Intelligent, detail oriented readers who like intricate and darker fantasy, fans of paranormal type thrillers or horror, and anyone sick of the same old thing. Who I would not recommend this book to: Those who need a Twilight variety plot with overly perfect characters, people who hate anything dark or gothic, and those who like a very easy read.
View all 7 comments. Oct 01, Melindeeloo rated it did not like it.
Archon - The Books of Raziel
The two things going for Archon are the gorgeous cover and the dark atmospheric feel to the writing especially with respect to the academy setting of the story. Unfortunately, that isn't enough to overcome the fact that the first third of the book is very confusing and that I really couldn't connect with any of the characters.
Archon's protagonist is a Blood head, which has nothing to do with vampires, although that is what came to mind everytime I saw that word, but instead refers to a red-head The two things going for Archon are the gorgeous cover and the dark atmospheric feel to the writing especially with respect to the academy setting of the story. Archon's protagonist is a Blood head, which has nothing to do with vampires, although that is what came to mind everytime I saw that word, but instead refers to a red-head with witchy potential.
Angela dreams of angels and is suicidal when we first meet her, since Angela is sure that death is the vehicle to connect with the most beautiful of the angels in her dreams but in each attempt to kill herself 'something' stops her from dying. Much of the story is about various parties looking for a prophesied Blood head, 'the Ruin', who will become the vessel for a dead angel. Or wanting to be the Ruin in the case of the Angela's nemesis Stephanie - who in a YA cliche, is the queen bee of a clique of Blood heads at the academy where the story is set and is competition for the same 'hot' guy - in order take over Lucifel's throne in hell.
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Neither of these characters are likeable - actually none of the characters in the book are likeable - and neither are heroine material either. In fact pretty much all of the characters are at least gray, and personally, I actually ended up being far more intrigued by the 'villains' of the piece - a djinn who is an angel offshoot that eats the some of the students and a demon who ends up behaving in a surprising way at the end. Oh, by the way, both of these villains end up having more nobility than the angel who also is one of the players in the story.
Archon was a very difficult book to read, I struggled through the first third and set this down twice at that point since I still didn't have a clue as to what was going on, and while I can sometimes tolerate this in a first person narrative in which I am learning about the world with the narrator and am immersed in their reactions. Angela is pretty flat emotionally, so here it was just frustrating, and not enough of her background is shared early on in order to feel much sympathy for Angela.
Quite frankly if my fifteen year old hadn't convinced me that it wasn't fair to write a review if I didn't finish the book, I would just given up and at that point. However, I did pick the book up again and approached it with a different mindset and once there finally is an explanation of what the heck is going on and some of the villains come out of the shadows as well, I found the middle of the book to be fairly interesting, and there is a gothic texture to the writing that is interesting as well.
Unfortunately, the story loses momentum around page , and when Archon finally finishes much is left unresolved since Archon is apparently a series starter. So bottom line is that before starting reading Archon I should have committed the back cover blurb to memory - I don't read them before reading a book - I would have been far less confused because it turns out that the blurb actually shines a light on the setup to the story better than the early chapters of the book did.
And if there had been a better intro to Angela's horrible childhood it might have allowed me to connect to her as a character early on as well, I probably would have liked Archon more - first impressions are crucial. But as it was, if I had purchased this book myself instead of getting the ARC free from the Amazon Vine I wouldn't have finished Archon even though there are a few bright spots in this dark murky confusing tale. View all 20 comments. Jun 22, Kristen rated it did not like it Shelves: paranormal-romance , sci-fi-fantasy , horror.
I am baffled by all the excellent reviews.
Archon: The Books of Raziel, Vol. 1
Are there 2 versions of this book out there and I have the version intended to bewilder and confuse? A fairie is an angel? Angela is the Archon but not? She houses Raziel's soul but doesn't? And I still don't know what the Ruin is!
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I found myself re-reading entire chapters because I was so very totally confused. And unfortunately, there is no wiki page out there summarizing it in a coherent manner, with spoilers, so I can understand what I have read. I normally do that here on my blog, but i don't even know where to start I am confounded. More of the review, and spoilers, to be found on seriestracker. I bookmarked a number of pages for discussion all incidences of idiotically purple prose.
Page 22 - 'The flames had muffled to a mass of burning cinders. It's literally defined by the dictionary as 'to cover or wrap up a source of sound to reduce its loudness'. Page 31 - 'While most of her paintings remained hidden away in their portfolio cases, two of them hung on the walls, portals to either a dream or a nightmare, whichever happened to suit her fancy at the moment.
She felt a kinship to both of them, one day aching for perfect beauty, and the next, for a grayness that wiped away her soul. Two of Angela's paintings hang on the walls of her bedroom - that's all we need to know, the rest of that waffle is totally superfluous and confusing AND irritating to read.
Page 42 - 'Those pink lips pursed into a tightly controlled frown. Page 59 - 'His voice promised secrecy and savory things. Logic is a thing Benulis seems to feel is less important than flowery writing - as long as it's apparently beautiful, that's all that matters, right? That's all the bookmarks I made and I think that's enough to give you an idea of why I stopped when I did. To top it all off I also had the same problems that all the other one star reviewers had - no connection to the characters, a totally confusing plot, a very slow start, and the complaints go on. Obviously I won't be looking for the sequels and the reviews would have to be something special for me to ever consider anything else by Benulis.
Feb 06, Victoria rated it did not like it Shelves: fantasy-science-fiction , young-adult. Both the cover and the description definitely enticed me, but unfortunately this book failed to deliver on that promise. The writing itself was not actually at fault, as what prose there was carefully written, with lush words and interesting word choices. Sadly, there was just not enough of this to pull this book through to be a success. The characters, including many supernatural beings including angels, demons and jinn, were not fully fleshed out to be remotely sympathetic, or even interesting Both the cover and the description definitely enticed me, but unfortunately this book failed to deliver on that promise.
The characters, including many supernatural beings including angels, demons and jinn, were not fully fleshed out to be remotely sympathetic, or even interesting or comprehensible.
This lack of exposition was the book's main downfall. I enjoy fantasy novels, both urban and otherwise, but every fantasy novel has to be grounded into reality by the author's imagination, creating a plane of existence that the characters inhabit and that readers can visit.
Even if a book starts in the middle of some action, bits and pieces of exposition have to filter through so that the reader can find their footing. This book did not offer that grounding to the reader. The description on the back was more explanatory than the first hundred pages or so, and honestly, I thought that the book's prologue should have been replaced by the 21st chapter starting on page in my edition , as it was the most informative and eye-opening chapter in the book.
References to the Vatican, and soft-core porn made it impossible to sift out the setting, and the actual location of Luz. I think it was Earth, but there was just nothing concrete.